Day Tours
Multi Day

Marne Valley - Champagne

The largest Champagne houses have tradionnaly focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, using Pinot Meunier to stretch their entry-level Brut Champagnes. Wide availability of Meunier, greater resistance to disease, and increasing demand for Meunier have inspired smaller vineyards in the Marne Valley to produce single vineyard, single-vintage and single varietal Champagnes. The legendary artisanal winemakers at La Closerie produce 100% Meunier Champagnes.

There are over 500 producers just in the Chateau Thierry area in the west of the Marne and is known to produce some amazing and inexpensive champagnes. The largest house cellar in the region has been used for over 700 years, first as a mushroom cellar and then for champagne.

Sample Itineraries

Meunier Tour

Visit 1
Triple meunier comparison tasting
Visit 2
Artisanal vineyard visit & multi tasting
Lunch at the vineyard
Visit 3
Marne Valley tastings of Special Club champagnes
Visit 4
Champagne House visit in Epernay

Sample autumn pairing menu

  • Starter:  Cream of butternut squash, waffle with Ratafia jelly  with Meunier Brut Nature
  • Main :  Ravioli with porcini mushrooms paired with Meunier Vintage 2013 Brut Nature
  • Dessert:  Almond and pink biscuits' dessert paired Cuvée Rosé de Saignée  Brut Nature
  • Moet

    Moet is the top selling Champagne in the world. It was founded in 1743 and served Louis XV and the royal court. Today the company holds a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth II. Moet launched its first vintage in 1842 and their best-selling cuvée, Brut Imperial in the 1860s. Moet owns the largest vineyard area in Champagne and produces approximately 28 million bottles a year, stored in the largest cellars in the region covering 28 kilometres.

    Billecart Salmon

    Billecart Salmon is a prestige mid-size brand located in Mareuil sur Aÿ, where one can find some of the best plots of grapes in Champagne. The area combines the perfect conditions for the optimal growth of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.


    Pinot Meunier grapes are similar in color to pinot noir, with bluish-black skins and tight clusters. Its shoots often have a powdery white appearance due to the white hairs that grow along its surface. Unlike pinot noir, meunier is less susceptible to mildew. It is also far more resistant to grape diseases, most notably Eutypa dieback, than chardonnay.


    Pinot Meunier accounts for about 35% of the Champagne region's grapes. It is most prevalent in the Marne Valley, and the Aisne department. It's a robust grape variety, cold-weather resistance, well suited to the variable soils of the Marne Valley, and does not to have as significant ageing potential. The Petite Montagne & the Marne Valley are the best places to sample Pinot Meunier, and are mostly populated with Premier Cru villages, which includes Cumières, Damery, Hautvillers, Dizy, Mareuil sur Ay, Epernay, Pierry.


    Epernay, dates back to the end of the first Iron Age. It has the second largest concentration of major Champagne houses including Moët & Chandon, De Castellane, Mercier, and Pol Roger located along the Ave. de Champagne and about 110 kilometres of underground cellars. Hautvillers is Premier Cru village with narrow streets and traditional forged-iron shop signs, overlooking vine-covered hills. The village calls itself “the cradle of Champagnes” based on the legend that Dom Perignon invented Champagne here. Dom Pierre Pérignon, arrived here in 1668 as cellarmaster and transformed wine development, vine management, blending, and quality control. On request we can stop here to see his gravestone in the Choir of the church. The Marne River was the site of many Battles that saved Paris. It became a focal point at the beginning and end of WW1 when the German goal was to defeat France early on in order to bring a quick close to the war. To reach Paris, they marched through Belgium and crossed the Marne River. They expected little resistance but were in for a shock.

    Marne Valley Champagne Adventures

    Departing from Paris or CDG airport by car, head east toward the magnificent statue of Urban II in Chatillon and panoramic view of the Marne Valley. En route we can stop at the WW1 cemeteries and monuments, one of the 500 small family wineries in Chateau Thierry or the small church where Dom Perignon is buried in the picturesque Premier Cru village of Hautvillers, often referred to as the “cradle of Champagnes”

    Multi Region Journeys

  • Best of the Best

    Marne Valley . Cote de Blancs (2 days)

    Cellar visit and multi tastings at specialist growers of Meunier and Chardonnay
    Haute Domaine Vine to Table immersive lunch experiences
    Cellar visit at Champagne Moet et Chandon, Billecart Salmon or Nicholas Feuillattes
    Visit Hautvillers and the gardens of Veuve Clicquot's Chateau Boursault

    Champagne Region Discovery

    Marne Valley / Cote de Blancs / Reims Mountains (3 days)

    Compare tastings of Meunier in the Marne, Chardonnay in the Cote de Blancs, and Pinot Noir in the Montagne de Reims
    Compare vintage and non vintage Champagnes
    Visit the village of Hautvillers and Reims Cathedral
    Enjoy 3 to 4 winery visits per day and picnic lunches at a vineyard

    Undiscovered Gems - Meunier & Riesling

    Marne Valley . Alsace (5 days)

    Visit and multi tastings at specialists of Premier Cru Meunier
    Haute Domaine Vine to Table lunch experiences
    Visit Hautvillers and Veuve Clicquot's Chateau Boursault
    Depart to Strasbourg to visit Grand Cru producers of Grand Cru Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Vendange Tardive, and Grains Nobles

    Wine & Gardens

    Champagne / Loire / Kent (10 days)

    Visit premium English sparkling wines makers and visit a world famous gardens in Kent
    Discover top sparkling wines in Vouvray and the formal gardens of Chateau Villandry
    Visit Grand Maisons, small estates, & single vineyards winemakers in Champagne
    TVG train or car transfers in France, Eurostar between London & Paris
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